1. Various production of "Soberana II" (Sovereign II) COVID-19 vaccine
2. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Vicente Vérez, Director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute:
"We are reorganizing our production capacities because we really have a lot of demand for the vaccine and we have to prepare ourselves to be able to supply that demand for vaccines."
3. Various filling and capping of vaccine bottles
4. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Vicente Vérez, Director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute
"Cuba's strategy to commercialize the vaccine is a strategy that is a combination that in the first focuses on humanity and health impact, and as a secondary priority looks at our business' need to sustain the production of the vaccine and medicines for the country. We are not a multinational where the (financial) return is the first reason for doing this and ensuring health is a consequence. We work the other way around: (first) ensuring health and the profit is a consequence of creating more health, but the latter will never be the priority."
5. Various of personnel working Finlay Institute labs
Cuba has expressed high hopes for its Sovereign II coronavirus vaccine, as the second phase of human trials got under way.
Eventually, Cuba hopes to produce 100 million doses of the vaccine, for use at home, and to fulfill demand from countries like Vietnam, Iran and Venezuela.
The Finlay Vaccines Institute started Phase II clinical trials for the vaccine, testing the vaccine on 900 volunteers after successful trials involving a sample size of 100 people.
Authorities said that previous tests have shown no negative effects on the volunteers, and highlighted that Sovereign II doesn't require special refrigeration conditions to be stored.
Aside from Sovereign II, Cuba is developing three other vaccines, which are still in earlier research stages. Sovereign I is being tested as a vaccine for the new mutations of the virus found in the UK, Japan, and California.
While Cuba kept the pandemic spread at bay during 2020, the island suffered an outbreak at the beginning of 2021 after opening its airports.
Cuban authorities have reported 180 deaths among 19,122 people infected with COVID-19.